SamJamie

IMDb member since May 2013
    Lifetime Total
    150+
    IMDb Member
    7 years

Reviews

In Time
(2011)

Underrated, lots to enjoy here!
In a future where people stop ageing after 25 and need to buy time to live, the rich become immortal while others cease to exist. So, Will is on the run with a hostage in a desperate bid to survive.

In Time is a smart and tremendously entertaining film with a clever and intriguing premise. It also has a political message raising arguments against income inequality and overpopulation. The film moves along at a brisk pace & is full of action, adventure under a ticking clock, keeping the film brisk and fun.

Devil's Knot
(2013)

8/10
The Arkansas town of West Memphis makes national headlines in the U. S. when three teenagers are arrested for the brutal murders of three little boys.

I went into this film knowing nothing about the true story it was based on. But the movie sucked me in from the start and showed the power of the confessions, then shows us what happened. Excellent performances from Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon. The director Atom Egoyan (Exotica) respectfully breaks apart the case's details with tragic fascination. Overall the film does a good job of telling a fascinating story and I'll probably go back and watch the film again after looking into the true story.

The Wolfman
(2010)

Boring, pondering, special-effects overload.
When his brother goes missing, Lawrence returns home to his father's ancestral home. He sets out to find his brother's killer and discovers a horrifying destiny for himself.

I was prepared to like this. But the film is glacially slow and is massively reliant on special effects at every chance it gets. The story is all over the place whilst being bland at the same time. A good cast sadly can't save this dud.

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy
(2010)

The ultimate fan-pleasing documentary.
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy is a 2010 American direct-to-video documentary film that chronicles the entire Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, except for the 2010 remake. The documentary explores the rise of New Line Cinema. It is a wildly informative summary of a seminal horror icon - and the people who populated his dark, disturbing dreamscapes...an interesting, sporadically fascinating documentary that should leave Elm Street enthusiasts more than satisfied. An absolute must-have and should be a key ingredient in any horror library...

I Am Nancy
(2011)

It's fun, but I learnt nothing new.
Actress Heather Langenkamp discusses the unique experience of performing as teen heroine Nancy Thompson in Wes Craven's movie.

This "sequel" to 'Never Sleep Again' is an off-beat mockumentary mostly following Heather Langenkamp around several conventions and interacting with the often unusual and quirky fans of the series. I'd seen this when it came out but I'd completely forgot about it. I expected the documentary to look a little bit deeper into the character and the conventions of the genre but it's more of a special feature you'd get on a DVD release of the film. It mostly follows Heather's frustration with taking a back seat to Freddy's fame, It's worth seeing for fans of the A Nightmare on Elm Street series and of Heather Langenkamp. It is at times funny, at times quite serious, but it's worth your time to watch the original documentary instead.

Chaos Walking
(2021)

Enjoyable, although it falls short of its potential.
In Prentisstown, Todd has been brought up to believe that the Spackle released a germ that killed all the women and unleashed Noise on the remaining men. After discovering a patch of silence out in the swamp, his surrogate parents immediately tell him that he has to run, leaving him with only a map of New World, a message, and many unanswered questions. He soon discovers the source of the silence: a girl, named Viola.

Chaos Walking is almost completely carried by its two leads, Holland and Ridley, both turning in great performances despite the weak script and under-developed story. The plot is quite fascinating, a world where men can hear each other's thoughts and women don't exist, but the film leaves a lot of questions unanswered. What's left is a flawed but entertaining dystopian adventure, with a fantastic central dynamic between leads Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley elevating the script. If you like your sci-fi with more action and less brains then it's one to watch.

Piranha 3D
(2010)

Cult Classic - Pure escapist entertainment!
Piranha 3D is a 2010 American 3D comedy horror film that serves as a loose remake of the comedy horror film Piranha (1978) and an entry in the Piranha film series.

Spring break turns gory when an underground tremor releases hundreds of prehistoric, carnivorous fish into Lake Victoria, a popular waterside resort.

This bloody throwback (P. A how is this film over 10 years old?!) that takes pride in its grindhouse roots. For fans of horror films -- and people looking for a good laugh -- Piranha ticks every box with flying colours. The film is a deliberately trashy, but undeniably fun guilty-pleasure horror outing. Neither gore enthusiasts nor horror fans will be disappointed. The film knows what it is and embraces it, from stupid disobedience to kids in peril to sexy exploitative silliness, with a remarkable level of humour and competence.

Life Is Strange 2
(2018)

Whilst few positives, it's ultimately disappointing.
The story of Life is Strange 2 follows the two Diaz brothers, Sean and Daniel, ages 16 and 9, respectively, on their journey from Seattle, the USA to their father's home town of Puerto Lobos, Mexico.

Whilst I was a massive fan of both LIS1 and LISBTS, I found this game to be rather lacking in comparison. It's a game with noble intent without the skills to fulfil its potential, showing that sometimes life isn't strange, but disappointing. I found the two leads unlikable, whilst the brotherly bond between them had nice moments, the characters' motivations were questionable. Due to the road movie approach, the secondary characters also lack depth. The attitude of the protagonists is not credible and you do not empathize with them most of the time. The game is rather heavy-handed at times with its religious and political messages too. Also, winks to pop culture, hallmarks of the entire saga, almost disappear. The music is not remarkable. Because of these issues, I found the game felt long and rather boring, even though it's a relatively short game. Only some surprising moments save it from being completely unlikable. Hopefully LIS: True Colours can be the saving grace for the series.

The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears
(2021)
Episode 6, Season 1

#FREEBRITNEY
Stripped of her voice, Spears been turned into a meme and a cautionary tale, and her own participation in that narrative remains elusive. After all this time, we're still projecting so much onto Britney Spears. "Framing Britney Spears" asks more questions than it can answer, but remains a sobering examination of the toxic nature of celebrity culture.

Nine Lives
(2002)

It's bottom of the barrel stuff!
Somehow the film plummets significantly in quality the second Hilton is axed. And it's off-screen. And 20 minutes in. The rest of the film is boring, drawn-out conversations with terrible acting performances throughout the entire cast. The film looks cheap. Amelia Warner is nice to look at. But this is a 1-star film if there ever was one, even for the horror genre.

Gothika
(2003)

An underrated thrill ride.
Gothika stars Halle Berry as a psychiatrist who awakens as a patient in a mental institution, with no memory of the murder she's accused of committing. As she tries to regain her memory, a vengeful spirit manipulates her.

This is an underrated vengeful ghost story delivering thrills and creepiness with a great look and a high-energy Halle Berry performance. The stunning visual style of blues, greens and reds conjures up scares and creepiness to keep the film engaging. Gothika is a classy, dread-filled production populated with a great cast and plenty of scares.

The Dark Pictures: Little Hope
(2020)

Original & intriguing - characters lacked depth.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, also known simply as Little Hope, is an interactive drama survival horror video game developed by Supermassive Games and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment.

Little Hope has an engaging cast including Will Poulter (Midsommar, Maze Runner) but characters lack much depth or interesting backstories. Although it does have an intriguing mystery at its core - leading to a twisty, somewhat frustrating ending. As the story unfolds there are a few chilling and gripping moments creating interesting conflict between characters but it takes too much time getting to the action. Overall, the game is interesting but lacking in too many areas to warrant a better rating.

Aquaman
(2018)

Rubbish!
This movie is utter rubbish. I've tried to watch it 3 different times and it's awful. The underwater scenes look terrible. Everything is cheesy and unnatural looking. Don't watch it.

The Babysitter
(1995)

Dull, flat & degrading garbage!
Jennifer (Silverstone) is a teen who has been hired to baby-sit the kids whilst The Tuckers go to a party and proceed to get inebriated, whilst Mr. Tucker fantasizes about Jennifer. Meanwhile, her boyfriend decides to spy on Jennifer at the Tucker house, with another young man also fixated on her.

Poor Alicia Silverstone, whilst she's a lovely, charming actress - she wasn't offered any good roles besides Cher in the iconic 90s comedy "Clueless" back in 1995. The same year this film was released. She seemed to settle for starring in cheap and crappy comedies or the likes of "Batman & Robin" - the less said about that the better.

"The Babysitter" seems to follow the typical 90s thriller formula along the lines of "Sleeping With The Enemy" or "Single White Female" but don't be fooled, this film is much more shallow and uninvolving. The film is practically plotless, just an excuse to show Silverstone taking a bath or cutaways to pointless fantasy scenes whilst the disgusting perverted male characters lust over her until the credits roll. This may be the sleaziest "erotic" thriller I've ever seen - despite having no eroticism or thrills.

I feel bad that Silverstone even had her name attached to this steaming pile, the film has no redeeming qualities. It's degrading to women, perverted, boring, ugly looking and pointless. Alicia deserved better!

The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan
(2019)

Not quite 'Until Dawn', but it works.
Five friends set sail on a holiday diving trip with a rumoured WWII wreck to find. As the day unfolds and a storm rolls in, their trip soon changes into something much more sinister. Who will live? Who will die? It's down to you. Can you save them all?

Man of Medan kicks off The Dark Pictures Anthology elegantly and subtly chilling with a solid, entertaining horror experience from Supermassive Games. Whilst the game isn't as emotionally impactful as Until Dawn, and the characters not nearly as interesting and fleshed-out the game makes up for with gripping, beautiful, and giddily silly horror. Technical issues, a rushed story, and a confusing approach to player choices halt the game from reaching the same levels as Until Dawn. Overall, Man of Medan is a fun, entertaining horror experience but I'm hoping Supermassive Games can scare up something a little more substantial for future The Dark Pictures titles.

Until Dawn
(2015)

The best horror game I've ever played!
Until Dawn is a 2015 interactive drama horror video game developed by Supermassive Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 4. Players assume control of eight young adults who have to survive on Blackwood Mountain when their lives are threatened.

Until Dawn is a damn near perfect game, which just breathes horror on every level. The game puts you in control of a group of teens and terrifies you while doing so. The script keeps you entertained and feeling like the decisions you make matter throughout the playthrough. Thanks to some good twists, a few fake-outs, and limitless jump scare, Until Dawn would make a solid horror film. As a piece of interactive fiction, however, it's a remarkable experience that horror fans shouldn't miss. The characters are interesting and fleshed-out, the voice actors are remarkable, especially it stars Rami Malek and Hayden Panettiere. The game just seems to work on every level and that's why it'll be a future cult classic.

Underwater
(2020)

Underrated - visually stunning & thrilling!
Disaster strikes more than six miles below the ocean surface when water crashes through the walls of a drilling station. Led by their captain, the survivors realize that their only hope is to walk across the sea floor to reach the main part of the facility. But they soon find themselves in a fight for their lives when they come under attack from mysterious and deadly creatures that no one has ever seen.

Kristen Stewart leads us on a terrifying dive into the deepest reaches of aquatic horror. The film is a solid creature feature that isn't afraid to acknowledge its sub-genre predecessors. Stewart shines and anchors a film that moves at a relatively brisk pace, particularly in its bombastic opening and closing sequences. What it lacks in character development and narrative depth it more than makes up for in mood and movement.

Suspiria
(2018)

Pretentious, gross & boring.
Susie Bannion arrives in 1970s Berlin to audition for the world-renowned Helena Markos Dance Co. When she vaults to the role of lead dancer, she uncovers dark and sinister secrets as they probe the depths of the studio's hidden underground chambers.

I found this film to be a convoluted mess that is confusing, slow, and a true chore to sit through. The film is glacially slow whilst presenting very little substance and lacking interesting character development. With muddled plot lines and aggressively grotesque violence, this is a very hard film to like. The film started rather intriguing, to the point of becoming interesting, with Chloë Grace Moretz delivering a noteworthy performance as usual, until the film descends into utter farce as Johnson's character is introduced.

Overall, Suspiria is too long, too empty with false fullness - too keen on being visually and viscerally delinquent at every opportunity.

Snakes on a Plane
(2006)

Pure escapist fun and absolutely nothing more.
Sean Jones, a witness, is a on a flight to LA to testify against a mob boss, Eddie Kim. However, Flynn, the FBI agent accompanying Sean, must save the passengers from a disaster.

The plot is ridiculous and the characters are cardboard, but none of that matters once the snakes get into the fuselage and start attacking people, the very definition of entertainment. Snakes on a Plane manifests terror in a way we don't see in most modern horror films today, delivering a supremely entertaining, campy, B-movie classic. The film is a silly, undeniably fun piece of work that certainly lives up to its promise, it's aware of its cheesiness, one reason it works so well. It's an exploitation flick that knows what it wants to do, and it gets the job done expertly. In one word, it's fun. It never aspires to be anything more than an exciting popcorn film that plays on your fears, and that is why it was a success.

Blackbird
(2019)

6/10
Lily and Paul summon their loved ones to their beach house for one final gathering before Lily decides to end her long battle with ALS. The couple plans a loving weekend complete with holiday traditions, but the mood becomes strained when unresolved issues surface between Lily and her daughters Jennifer and Anna.

First of all, this is nowhere near a one-star movie. It baffles me how people can give a film like this the lowest possible score when the movie has good points and bad, definitely amounting to a higher score than aforementioned.

First of all the subject of Blackbird is an interesting examination of end-of-life, packing a sometimes overly-emotional punch, illuminating not only Lily's end but the entirety of a precious life well lived. The film boasts a terrific leading performance from Sarandon, keeping things focused and always demanding your attention. Whilst Winslet's performance as her overbearing daughter is also splendid to watch. The film as a whole though feels rather empty, it's a heavy subject that is given a light touch when it comes to its emotional weight. The subject matter feels diluted by staying on the surface and never going too deep with these characters' conflicts. The film is worth watching for a few note-worthy performances but it's not a film to write home about.

Ava
(2020)

An entertaining & fun spy thriller.
An assassin becomes marked for death by her black ops organization after questioning orders and breaking protocol.

"Ava" brings the action and espionage elements of a classic spy thriller blended with family-based drama. The mixture of the two isn't always seamless but it doesn't make the film any less entertaining. Chastain is great as the lead with her opportunity to participate in the genre, bringing the charisma and star power that saves the day for Ava. Otherwise, it's an unimaginative plot with less thrill and many clichés. Ava's atmosphere is due entirely to its compelling action sequences and strong supporting performances... Farrell did a great job and there's a wonderfully acted scene between Geena Davis and Chastain towards the end.

Sightless
(2020)

Lazy rip-off of "The Eye".
Sightless is a 2020 American psychological thriller film written and directed by Cooper Karl, based on his 2017 short film of the same name. The film stars Madelaine Petsch and Alexander Koch.

After a vicious attack leaves a young woman blind, she must fight back to escape her new reality in which people are not who they seem to be.

First off, this movie is just plain dull & boring. The cinematography is flat and un-involving and the acting ranges from wooden to terrible, mostly thanks to Madeleine Petsch, who I've always thought is the worst actor on Riverdale. She's completely unconvincing as the lead here. Secondly, this movie is a blatant rip off of "The Eye", down to the main character used to be a musician. The story asks us to suspend our disbelief, it's just plain far-fetched nonsense - the scares are rubbish and things just happen and then the story moves on to something else, almost as if parts have been cut from a longer film. This is one of the worst movies I've seen so far this year, everything from the dialogue to the writing is just plain terrible. Don't waste your time on this one.

The Haunting
(1999)

Revisiting "The Haunted".
Dr Marrow enlists Theo, Luke and Nell for a study of sleep disorders at the Hill House. As soon as the terrifying truth about the mansion is revealed, everyone is found fighting for their lives.

I had watched "The Haunting" years ago and I'd almost completely forgotten the movie entirely. I revisited the film recently and I thought it was a brilliantly entertaining and well-made picture. The location of Hill House is a fantastic setting for the story and they use the location stunningly well, from the first sweeping shots of the four leads arriving there to the dramatic conclusion. Based on its locations, its sets, its art direction, its sound design, and the overall splendour of its visuals, the film is some of the best I think I've ever seen in the genre. Creating a haunted house with real personality and terror.

The cast of the film is also fantastic. Lili Taylor without a doubt pulls out a riveting performance as Elanor. Catherine Zeta-Jones brings the sex appeal. Owen Wilson keeps the film light and humorous whilst Liam Neeson plays the medium between the group, the character-based moments at the start of the film are even interesting and the dialogue is smart and snappy.

The story is an interesting spin on the original, with the message that love is the only true antidote to fear. I know lots and lots of people hate this film but I just found so much to love about it I couldn't help but disagree.

The Night Clerk
(2020)

6/10
A hotel clerk becomes the prime suspect when a woman is murdered during his shift. As the police investigation closes in, he makes a personal connection with a guest -- but soon realizes he must stop the killer before she becomes the next victim.

The Night Clerk is quite a refreshing film experience. Full of intrigue and very engrossing, the film seems to do the very most with the bare essentials. Putting just enough creep and suspicion into this predicament to stir plenty of conjecture worth hanging around to figure out. The film brings on the thrills interesting ways, by being surprisingly low-key and quiet, taking advantage of the late hours of the dark during which much of the story takes place. The film has two emotionally touching performances from Sheridan and Armas. Sheridan's deft portrayal of someone "on the spectrum" takes us into an interior world previously unknown to us and by the end of the film, we have emotionally connected with him.

In retrospect, the film is a well-acted noir drama that pays more attention to characters than the plot, for better or worse. Besides a few pacing and writing issues, It's a film that presents itself as one that has a predictable plot but surprises viewers as the film concludes. Thrillers rarely allow for as much in-depth character work as this indie film.

Thir13en Ghosts
(2001)

A thrilling & fun ride!
Arthur, a financially ravaged widower with two children, inherits his eccentric, ghost-hunter uncle's glasshouse. However, the family encounters 12 vengeful entities when they enter the house.

I've always loved Thirteen Ghosts, It's a stylish, mean-spirited, and surprisingly scary horror film. While the film isn't perfect and contains some developments that come far too easily and/or don't make sense, the film delivers more than its share of macabre funhouse chills and thrills. In addition to the incredible set that serves as the centrepiece of this film, which is without question its most enjoyable quality, there are also some amazingly truthful performances by Shalhoub, Lillard, and, of course, Abraham.

Thirteen Ghosts has solidified its place among horror movies from the early 2000s. Cyrus' haunted house is a work of art, and ultimately adds a memorable piece of real estate in the horror genre's spooky neighbourhood. For those looking for a little scary fun, Thirteen Ghosts makes for a tasty treat.

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